Luxembourg Reports Decrease in Caesarean Deliveries and Episiotomies in Latest Perinatal Health Surveillance » Luxembourg Institute of Health
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Luxembourg Reports Decrease in Caesarean Deliveries and Episiotomies in Latest Perinatal Health Surveillance

22 March 2023 3minutes

Luxembourg’s Ministry of Health and the Luxembourg Institute of Health have released the “Perinatal Health Surveillance in Luxembourg 2017-2019” report, which analyses the health of mothers and newborns in Luxembourg from 2017 to 2019.


The report, which is based on national and European perinatal health indicators and the Sustainable Development Goals set up by the United Nations, shows that the surveillance of pregnant women in the Grand Duchy is excellent. The report also highlights a 3.1% increase in the number of births in the country between 2017 and 2019, following a decrease between 2014 and 2016.

The report shows that there has been a steady increase in the number of non-resident women giving birth in Luxembourg for many years. In addition, there is a high proportion of women giving birth who are foreign nationals compared to women of Luxembourg nationality (about 35%). The proportion of Luxembourgish women giving birth has also slightly decreased (-0.7%) between 2017 and 2019. Deliveries by women of non-EU nationality, on the other hand, grew by 18.7% between 2017 and 2019.

The report also highlights a decrease in the rate of C-sections in Luxembourg. In 2009, the C-section rate was 28.8%. It has steadily increased in subsequent years, reaching 32.2% in 2014 and 2016. However, between 2017 and 2019, the C-section rate decreased to an average of 30.5%. The report shows that for the first time since 2010, the national C-section rate fell below 30% in 2019. Secondary or unscheduled C-sections are down from previous years, with 14.0% of deliveries being by secondary caesarean section compared to 15.1% between 2014 and 2016. Primary or emergency caesarean sections remain stable.

Furthermore, the report reveals a significant decrease in the practice of episiotomy in Luxembourg. Between 2017 and 2019, 21.9% of vaginal deliveries were performed with an episiotomy, but this rate dropped to 13.7% in 2019.

The perinatal health surveillance system in Luxembourg is unique in Europe, as it is based on a comprehensive data collection system that has been installed in all of the country’s maternity wards, at private midwives’ wards, and in the country’s two neonatology departments. This makes it possible to collect exhaustive data on the country’s deliveries as well as on the hospitalizations of newborns.

The full report “Perinatal Health Surveillance in Luxembourg 2017-2019” can be downloaded here. In addition to the national report, a European report was published in November 2022 as part of the European “EuroPeristat” project. This report integrates data from 2015 to 2019 for 31 countries (24 European Union member states as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom and its constituent nations). The report shows the progress that has been made in the area of maternal and child health.

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  • Aline
    Lecomte
    Team Leader, Public Health Expertise

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